A Study of Internet Addiction through the Lens of the Interpersonal Theory


INTERNET addiction
INTERNET addicts
WORLD Wide Web
SOCIAL anxiety

Abstract:Previous studies have presented conflicting claims regarding reasons that people become addicted to the Internet. In this study, we attempted to identify predictors of Internet addiction based on Sullivan's interpersonal theory and Internet addiction literature. In our research model, it is hypothesized that good parent–child relationship positively correlates with good interpersonal relationships, which in turn are hypothesized to correlate with undesirable social anxiety. In addition, both parent–child and interpersonal relationships are hypothesized to negatively correlate with Internet addiction, whereas the level of social anxiety is hypothesized to positively correlate with Internet addiction. The results of this study confirm the research model hypotheses, indicating that the quality of parent–child relationship is indeed positively correlated to the quality of our participants' interpersonal relationships and that frustrating interpersonal relationships may raise the level of social anxiety. In addition, interpersonal relationships, the parent–child relationship, and social anxiety all influence Internet addiction, as predicted by the model. Finally, the more social anxiety and discontent with their peer interactions the participants experienced, the more addicted they were to the Internet.

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